As Fang Shaoyi's car pulled up downstairs, Yuan Ye grinned and tilted his head. "Want to come up and sit for a while?" he asked.
"No, I won't. You should go upstairs and rest early," Fang Shaoyi replied.
Yuan Ye didn't say much and just nodded. "Mm," he said. "I'll call you later."
"Okay," Fang Shaoyi replied with a smile.
After Yuan Ye went upstairs, Fang Shaoyi's smile faded and he furrowed his brows slightly. Just then, a phone call came in and Fang Shaoyi answered it on speakerphone before driving away.
The first thing Yuan Ye did when he came back was to go to his parents' place. He hadn't been back in almost half a year. When he opened the door with his key, the old lady was startled. Yuan Ye quickly reassured her, saying, "Don't be afraid, it's me."
"When did you come back?" The old lady's face lit up with obvious joy as she took the things from Yuan Ye's hands and wiped her hands with a piece of tissue.
Yuan Ye hugged her and said, "I came back today. I took a nap at home in the afternoon and then came over. How is our professor?"
"The professor went to paint," the old lady patted Yuan Ye's back and smiled so much that her eyes curved, "You've lost weight, you've gotten really thin this time."
"I know I've lost weight," Yuan Ye smiled and said, "The food on the set wasn't good."
Yuan Ye called his dad and asked, "Professor, where are you painting? After you're done, I'll come pick you up?"
"You're back?" Professor Yuan asked him on the phone, "Are you at home?"
"Yeah," Yuan Ye replied.
Professor Yuan said, "You don't have to pick me up. I'll walk for five minutes and be there. You stay at home."
During dinner, his mom said that Shaoyi had come twice in the past few days. Yuan Ye raised an eyebrow and asked, "He came?"
"Yes," the old lady glanced at Yuan Ye's expression and tentatively asked, "Are you two together now?"
Yuan Ye asked, "What did he say?"
"I couldn't ask," Mom said, "Every time Shaoyi comes, he brings a lot of gifts. I'm always worried that someone will recognize him and cause trouble for him in the neighborhood."
"It's not a problem," Yuan Ye smiled and shook his head, "He's used to it."
His mom asked again, "So, are you two together now?"
Yuan Ye thought for a moment and said, "I guess so."
When it came to matters of the heart, his family never spoke much about it. They didn't try to stop him from getting married before, and they haven't said much after je dod. Yuan Ye never discussed with his family about his divorce, and now that they're back together, he still didn't say much.
At thirty-something, he doesn't need anyone to worry about him anymore. He's reached the age where he needs to take responsibility for his own life, and he knows that he alone must bear the consequences of his choices.
That day, Professor Yuan simply told him, "Live however makes you happy. It's up to you."
Yuan Ye nodded and replied, "I know."
The marriage between Yuan Ye and Fang Shaoyi was not quite normal. The difference in their social status was too great, and their families had absolutely nothing in common. After they got married, they had almost no interaction.
Even before their divorce, Yuan Ye couldn't call Fang Shaoyi's parents "mom and dad". It felt too strange, but calling them "uncle and aunt" didn't seem appropriate either. Perhaps they felt just as awkward around Yuan Ye, which could also be attributed to his personality.
Fang Shaoyi was much more natural than him. When he wasn't filming, he often went back to his family with Yuan Ye, and he always called them "mom and dad" just like Yuan Ye did. When he came here, he didn't seem like a celebrity, just a well-mannered young man.
Fang Shaoyi was much better at this than Yuan Ye.
After spending a night at home, Yuan Ye called Fang Shaoyi the next day and greeted him with a "Brother Yi".
"Mm," Fang Shaoyi responded, asking, "Where are you?"
"I'm back at my mom's," Yuan Ye replied, "I heard you came over? What status do you have to come, ah?"
Fang Shaoyi chuckled softly and said, "Half a son, I guess."
Yuan Ye teased him, "If my mom really asked you if we're back together, wouldn't you feel awkward?"
"I'll just bear it," Fang Shaoyi said, "What else can I do?"
After their phone call, the two of them didn't get a chance to meet that day. Yuan Ye went to Old Tu's place to drink and eat meat, while Fang Shaoyi was at the company looking over some contracts and had an interview in the afternoon. Fang Shaoyi hadn't really shown his face in the charity sector in recent years, and he wasn't involved in the common charity projects.
However, he and Yuan Ye had been continuously investing in many charity projects and funds, and the amounts were not small. A few years ago, Yuan Ye would occasionally go with Fang Shaoyi to run in mountainous areas, and he would take a lot of photos each time. But he didn't go as often anymore, as most of his time was spent with Fang Shaoyi, and the rest had to be saved for his own things.
Today's interview was for a special feature on Fang Shaoyi, a certain fund project had been waiting for months to finally get him. They had originally wanted to interview Yuan Ye as well, but Fang Shaoyi declined, knowing that Yuan Ye wouldn't enjoy being recorded.
Doing charity work should come from the heart, why does it always have to be put on display? Some celebrities do it to help promote the work and attract more people to join, which is understandable. But in Yuan Ye's eyes, some people are just putting on a show, flaunting everything they do, and it's extremely hypocritical.
Yuan Ye was drinking with Old Tu, they hadn't seen each other in over six months, but he was still the same old Old Tu, not a single change.
Old Tu asked about his current situation, but when it came to matters of the heart, Yuan Ye always remained tight-lipped. However, on this rare occasion, he spoke up and said, "Right now, I just need to work hard and clean myself up."
"How do you plan to clean yourself up?" Old Tu looked at him with a perpetual smile and asked, "Are you a fish that you can de-scale?"
Yuan Ye chuckled and lit a cigarette before shaking his head. "It's not that extreme," he said.
But there are still some changes that need to be made. Everyone has their own measure of what they've lost and gained. He had already figured out what he wanted, and once he did, he didn't hesitate anymore.
But sometimes he still feels a bit scattered emotionally, and letting go of things he has held onto for years can leave him feeling lost. Even lonely.
Before leaving the set, the director finally told him the truth. Between the lines, it was clear that he had never intended to include any scenes with He Han in the final cut. When editing the film, he wouldn't even consider including that storyline.
The director only revealed this after having a few too many drinks, and it caught Yuan Ye completely off guard. He had never even considered this possibility before.
Emotionally, he felt satisfied and pleased with the outcome. When looking back at the process, he could set aside Han He's efforts, since what he did was underhanded in the first place. But it wasn't just them - the entire crew, including those in He Han's acting group, had put in a lot of time and effort.
All the scenes with the supporting actors, some of whom had even left and had to come back, were dependent on that subplot. If the director cut those scenes, it would all be for nothing. It's one thing to have wasted scenes, but the director knew what was going on and were in control of everything, which didn't feel right.
Every person, including Yuan Ye himself, was fully focused on the new storyline that had been added, without knowing what was going on.
Although he didn't care about any of He Han's plays, Yuan Ye had to consider how to integrate and blend the two storylines in every scene. He had to maximize the effect of each scene even when the entire script had deviated from the track, and even argued with the director every day. The props team worked tirelessly overnight to catch up with the props, but the result was that they wouldn't even appear in the movie.
There was a big difference between how Yuan Ye would have handled things. Despite his dislike for He Han and his team, he was the kind of person who did things openly. From the very beginning, he refused to have this new storyline added to the film and no matter how difficult it was, he would not back down. However, this approach was sometimes wrong and could lead to the entire crew's efforts being wasted because of his stubbornness.
It must be admitted that the director's approach was the most roundabout and clever. Once the movie was released and everything settled, they could do as they pleased. They didn't even have to worry about offending the investors.
At the time, Yuan Ye asked the director, "Why bother filming so seriously if the work is all for nothing?"
"It's not for nothing." Jiang Linchuan glanced at him, shook his head, and chuckled self-deprecatingly. "There are too many variables in filmmaking. If I can't cut it out in the end, then I'll have to include it."
Yuan Ye asked, "What are the chances that you won't be able to cut it out?"
Jiang Linchuan replied, "Very small."
For this very small possibility, the crew of over two hundred people worked for more than a month, and a lot of money was poured into it.
Fang Shaoyi probably knew all along, but he didn't say anything. Later, Yuan Ye recalled Fang Shaoyi asking him several times to go see the director's rough cut, but Yuan Ye wasn't interested, so he didn't go. One time, he said he wanted to see it, but the director changed the subject and didn't let him.
So, until the entire film was finished, Yuan Ye didn't know that all the effort he put into it was unnecessary. In his eyes, it was a useless script, but the director had no intention of letting it become useless from the start.
There's no right or wrong answer to this, but if he had to force an answer, the director was right. He did everything he could to protect his film. Previously, Yuan Ye said that he had lost the most essential part of being a filmmaker, but he took back those words now. The essence of being a filmmaker is still there, and his passionate pursuit of film is still there. He can be proud of his own film.
But this was far from Yuan Ye's principles, which even made him feel a little absurd and crazy.
Fang Shaoyi had previously said that Yuan Ye could not hide his feelings from his eyes. He could see it with just one look. Although they hadn't seen each other much in the past few days, they kept in touch through messages and phone calls, and everything seemed normal.
But Fang Shaoyi knew something was off with Yuan Ye ever since he picked him up from the airport. He later guessed the reason why.
Despite this, Yuan Ye's attitude towards him remained unchanged when they spoke, as if nothing had happened. Fang Shaoyi didn't ask him about it.
The day before they left for France, Yuan Ye called and asked if Fang Shaoyi had gotten ready over the past few days.
Fang Shaoyi said he was ready.
Yuan Ye's voice seemed calm, yet gentle. On the other end of the phone, he reassured Fang Shaoyi, "Don't worry, I'll be with you."